IN MY EYES
By Edward B. Antonio
In one of the lecture sorties of student leaders where I was invited to talk, I met a young 16-year old Grade 10 student who came from the hinterlands.
Grouped with some 600 student leaders, he had been shining in the reactions everytime I asked their opinions and experiences in life.
Let’s call the child Mark.
Mark came from an indigent family and he had to walk 10 kilometers to school. When he became hard up, he rented a small room in town. But what astonished me was he still emerged the first honors in their class that grading period and with only P10.00 allowance per day. He also won the student leaders presidency!
I was lecturing via the power point with my piece entitled, “Upholding the Truth about Leadership” when I asked this question: “Had there been incidents in your life that you needed to lead yourself because your goal will spell your future?”
Nobody seemed to react at first.
Then, suddenly, Mark stood up, walked slowly towards the microphone at the center of the hall and narrated his story:
“I was born poor, and my parents could give me only education as my heritage from them. We had no bikes or motorcycle and my place was so far and undeveloped that I had to walk 5 kilometers to the nearest road where the tricycles parked.
I always told myself: If I were able to walk 5 kilometers from home to the tricycle parking area, I can still walk 5 kilometers more to school so I can save my fare. But when it started to rain and the typhoons came one by one, I had to stay in town with only P10 as my allowance daily. But I did not complain because someday, when I shall have graduated, I will have enough money for myself and my parents…”
He narrated more of his experiences as a son and as a student leader. The audience became dumb in sympathy. When he finished speaking, tears rolled down my eyes. Many of those in the audience were teary-eyed.
When I started to clap for Mark, the audience followed it up with a standing ovation.
A high-ranking DepEd official heard of the story of Mark. Apparently, she had been listening to my power point lectures, the video clips and the story of Mark.
His story touched her heart.
Before the training ended, the DepEd official met with the organizing committee and suggested a P1,000/month scholarship for Mark. The suggestion was unanimously approved.
Two years later in another leadership training, a lecturer was also asking for the opinion of some delegates when one in the audience volunteered, stood up and told his story.
His story was familiar. It was the same story he told two years ago.
It was Mark!
At the end of his talk, he thanked me for the opportunity he had in narrating his life two years ago, for with the scholarship he got, he was able to save some and he was now using his savings for his college education.
People like Mark deserve to succeed someday, fellas. People like him are the kind of leaders we need in our country.
We should not underestimate each child today for who knows, he may be greater than us someday.
Here is the story of another child.
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.#